Awards for Stage Managing

My friend Nick posted today about the lack of awards for Stage Managers in both the big awards shows (Tonys) & the smaller community based awards.

Nick suggests that “the need is really to recognize SMs who are emerging in their careers and trying to get enough work to develop their craft into full-time work, which is really what I see these awards as being all about anyway….My feeling is that public recognition by the community enables a talented SM to be exposed to larger theaters so that they can do their work and get compensated appropriately for it. Without that recognition, the SM is the most likely position to achieve burn out.”

Here in Vancouver at the Jessies there is the Mary Phillips Prize for Behind-the-Scenes Achievement which is

“Awarded to an unsung hero. The recipient is nominated from the community and chosen by a private committee. Nomination forms are available online and must be received by April 30th. The recipient is chosen by a private committee. Receives a cash prize.”

This is not specifically an award for Stage Managing, but I have seen stage managers win it before.

So. Should there be awards for stage management? If there should be, what should they look like? Chime in here, or over on Nick’s post.

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About Lois

I am a Vancouver-based Stage Manager and frequent theatre goer. After graduating from Trinity Western University I spent two seasons as the resident stage manager at Pacific Theatre. Now I am working as a freelancer with various companies in Vancouver.


  1. There should definitely be an award for stage managing, though I don't know how you'd come up with the criteria and whatnot…but anyone who can hold my life and a show together and still be cool as a cucumber deserves something shiny at the very least…

  2. I think it would be great if stage managers got more recognition (or even more thanks). The problem is seeing what the SM has done in the final production. Even theatre people aren't clear how much blame/credit the director deserves and they'd be more clueless with the SM. Sure, some shows are cueing or calling nightmares but that's a small portion of the responsibility of the mighty stage manager. What to do, what to do…

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